Noticed that an ebook you’ve previously seen no longer appears available? There are several possible reasons, but the most likely one right now is that it was removed from our collection because of its cost. The library has many sources for ebooks, and the largest one is a company called Ebook Library (EBL). We have some 200,000 EBL records in our catalog, of which we own only .6%. The rest are there for access as needed, and we don’t pay for them until they’re actually used. This is a recently developed program called Demand-Driven Acquisitions (DDA). A vastly oversimplified description is that for the first four uses, the library pays a percentage of the full purchase price, and the fifth use triggers an automatic purchase. DDA lets us offer a tremendous range of ebooks at a small fraction of the full purchase price. Over the last four years, we’ve paid less than $500,000 for access to more than $8 million worth of books.
However, in the last two years, many publishers have decided they weren’t making enough money, so they dramatically hiked their fees for those first four uses, which has sent our library’s costs skyrocketing. We’ve shifted some funds from print purchasing to cover the additional ebook costs, but the only way to moderate expenditures for the longer term is to remove the most expensive titles, along with titles from the most expensive publishers.
What to do? If you’re not finding something you’d previously seen, or if you come across a catalog link that doesn’t work (removing the catalog records tends to lag behind the actual ebook access), email us right away, and we might be able to get it back. If we can’t, we’ll work on finding another way to lay hands on the material for you.
Librarians at Middlebury have been creating research guides for many years, originally publishing them in print and then migrating to online platforms. Online guides have also changed format as new software has been developed. (see go/guides)
This summer we began a subscription to LibGuides by Springshare, which is used by many libraries throughout the world. This robust interface will allow us to be more flexible, and it enables us to create guides that are more user-friendly through the use of tabs and other navigational elements.
Though it will take us most of Fall semester to migrate all of our current guides, here’s one available right now: the Citation & Style Guide (go/citation), which helps students correctly cite sources and create bibliographies. It also contains a section on writing and plagiarism, including a link to the new Academic Honesty Tutorial recently developed by the College’s Honor Code Review Committee.
Based on the findings of an assessment we did last spring (thanks to all students who answered our survey questions!), we’ve decided to use the Reference Desk again. This is the tall desk on the main level of the Davis Family Library, near the walk-up computers. Don’t get used to the name though. We’re changing it! We’re also stretching to increase our hours of coverage. When students work with us, they come back. But some students don’t think of us in the first place. We’re trying to make it easier for all students to ask us for help. (Note: We often have candy!)
Librarians are now available at the Research Desk. Please bring your research questions to us! Does the library have any movies in Spanish? How should I cite this web page? I’m writing a paper on [insert your topic here]… We know what to do!
Monday-Wednesday: 11-5 and 7-10 pm
Thursday: 11-5 pm
Friday: 11-4 pm
Sunday: 1-5 and 7-10 pm
The winning bid on the Archive of Civil War paymaster Erastus Hibbard Phelps, Middlebury Class of 1861, was made at auction by Andy Wentink, Curator of Special Collections & Archives. The archive was one among nearly 350 lots of American History, including Civil War, materials offered by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, OH, last Friday morning, December 2. The Phelps Archive comprises 334 letters, 4 diaries (3 from Civil War years), 2 bound volumes including a photo album containing portraits of graduates of the Middlebury Class of 1861, many of which are inscribed to Phelps. The archive also includes two photos of Phelps previous to his years at Middlebury, his paymaster sidearm (a Colt 1851 Navy 36 caliber pistol), what is believed to be his sheepskin winter jacket worn on duty, and a leather documents trunk carried during his service.
For a trial period starting today, Middlebury College has access to Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO), a searchable database of original manuscript materials, archival documents, and printed sources for English, Irish, Scottish and Colonial history from the medieval and early modern period (c. 1100-1800).
MEMSO includes digitized versions of original texts held at the National Archives in London and includes the papers of King Edward VI and Queens Mary and Elizabeth I, among many others.
Last year’s seniors (2010-2011) who submitted theses to include in our digital repository now have their work available in DSpace (go/dspace). Some students request that their work be restricted to the College community, so to view those, you’ll be asked to log in with your Midd username & password.The others are available ‘worldwide,’ and are eventually searchable via Google (etc.). Continue reading →